Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 25a, 1892

Tenney, G. C.

George’s Terrace, Melbourne, Australia

December 23, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in 6MR 122. +Note

Dear Brother,

Your position in connection with the work here has not been a favorable one for you. The close confinement to an indoor, sedentary life is not suited to your constitution. The undue determination of blood to the brain causes your mind to become confused; you do not think clearly, and more than this, your life is in danger from apoplexy. Instead of being confined indoors, you should be as much as possible in the open air. 7LtMs, Lt 25a, 1892, par. 1

When your mind is weary or confused, if questions of a perplexing nature are brought before you, you cannot see just how to answer them, and you turn the questioners off with a blunt response or do not answer at all. Evil results have come from this. Your temperament and traits of character unfit you for the work of superintending others. You have not the qualifications necessary for dealing with minds. The result of this lack, in the position you have occupied, you do not see. You have not felt yourself fitted for this work, as you have stated again and again, and you should be released from it. 7LtMs, Lt 25a, 1892, par. 2

There is a large amount of work to be done in other lines where you can accomplish good if you are in living connection with God. The churches need the labor you can give them. You can do a precious work in teaching the truth. You can present your ideas of Bible truth in such a manner that others are able to grasp them, and you are better adapted to this work of teaching than to managing a company of workers in the office. You will find this work much easier and safer for you than that in a position where so many perplexing matters are constantly arising, where a clear brain and well-balanced mind are needed to take in the situation in all its bearings and give counsel that will exert a helpful influence. 7LtMs, Lt 25a, 1892, par. 3

“No man liveth to himself.” [Romans 14:7.] The character will manifest itself. The looks, the tone of the voice, the actions, all have their influence in making or marring the happiness of the domestic circle. They are molding the temper and character of the children; they are inspiring or tending to destroy confidence and love. All are made either better or worse, happy or miserable, by these influences. 7LtMs, Lt 25a, 1892, par. 4

So it will be in any position in which one may serve. He is perpetuating his excellences or his defects. His conversation, his habits, his moral tone, have their effect on others in the formation of habits, in the development of character. 7LtMs, Lt 25a, 1892, par. 5

There are many things you need to change. Retain and strengthen all that is valuable, but closely criticize yourself lest your influence at home and abroad shall not be Christlike. To be a Christian is to possess the character of Christ. My brother, you need to cultivate the attributes of Christ in thought, in spirit, in words, in acts, in prayer. Christians, indeed, will copy Christ. The tender influence of His Spirit will not come in fitful gusts; it is a constant, abiding principle. You should not act in a cheap, childish manner, for this is fatal to reverence. 7LtMs, Lt 25a, 1892, par. 6

The soul is surrounded by an atmosphere that is constantly inhaled by others. Every action should be pure and elevated and noble. We are individually responsible for the influence that proceeds from us. Whether we give any concern to this matter or not, it is a truth we cannot evade, that no man liveth to himself. The question is whether the atmosphere shall be for good alone, or whether evil shall be mingled with the good. 7LtMs, Lt 25a, 1892, par. 7

We live for our families. We owe them the knowledge of the Word brought into practical life. All that it is possible for us to do to purify, enlighten, comfort, encourage, and save our own souls and those connected with us in family relation should be done. We are to consecrate ourselves and our children to God, to beautify them with holiness, and to prepare them for the society of heaven. We are guilty before God if we do not give a spotless example. Take time to educate, to discipline, to refine, and ennoble. 7LtMs, Lt 25a, 1892, par. 8

My brother, I have sincere love for you, for your wife, and for your children. We shall be glad to welcome you when you return to your labors in Australia. We hope that the Lord will stir up the minds of brethren in America to come to Australia to help lift the standard of truth in this little world by itself. 7LtMs, Lt 25a, 1892, par. 9